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Grade 18 officer suspended on sexual harassment charge

ISLAMABAD (September 17 2008): The Establishment Division has taken serious notice of a case of sexual harassment of a female government employee and suspended Akhtar Iqbal, an official of Grade 18, of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources (MP&NR), for his alleged ‘gross misconduct of the rules of service’.

Akhtar Iqbal has been served a suspension order under ‘Services Ordinance 2000’. The order said: “It has been brought to the notice of competent authority that you (Raja Akhtar Iqbal) (OMG/BS-18) allegedly committed the acts of omission and commission constituting misconduct as defined in the Removal from Service (Special Powers) Ordinance 2000.”

The complainant, Ms Asma Arif Yasin, ex-Planning & Monitoring Officer of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources, had filed a complaint about sexual harassment by her boss Akhtar Iqbal (OMG/ BS-18), Section Officer. She alleged that being a lady her boss used to make attempt on her physically and time to time was abusive and most recently in the shape of notice of her termination from the contract appointment despite the fact that the Project had not yet been finalised.

The order for suspension of Akhtar Iqbal said: “The accused officer appears to be guilty of misconduct, and is liable to disciplinary action which may involve imposition of one or more of the penalties including the penalty of dismissal from service, as prescribed in Section 3 of the Removal from Service (Special Powers) Ordinance 2000″.

It added that the competent authority, in exercise of powers conferred under Section 5 of the Removal from Service (Special Powers) Ordinance 2000, has appointed Muhammad Raza, Deputy Secretary, Ports & Shipping Division, Islamabad, as Inquiry officer to scrutinise the conduct of the accused officer through formal inquiry proceedings into the above charges”.

The inquiry shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions contained Section 5 of the Removal from Service (Special Powers) Ordinance 2000 and the report of findings and recommendations shall be submitted to the competent authority within 25 (twenty five) days of the initiation of inquiry. The case has also been studied separately by the Ministry of Women Development and Human Right Commission of the Ministry of Law and Justice.
Source: Business Recorder
Date:9/17/2008

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